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Jun. 7, 2007 by Star Spotter

9 days and counting…

Your Star Spotter is not referring to the milestone of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s 21st birthday (though if you do find the Twins worth celebrating, check out their new, and highly-acclaimed, clothing line Elizabeth and James, which debuts this summer) but to the opening day of the annual Maui Film Festival. While the culinary events, including both the Taste of Chocolate and Taste of Wailea, are delights enough—think Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Terrine and Soba Noodle Pancakes—this year’s batch of films is likely to draw a major A-list crowd. Festivals of the past, with such headliners as The Good Girl, Jennifer Aniston’s first post-Friends film appearance and Scrubs’ Zach Braff’s directorial debut Garden State, drew stars like Adrien Brody, Felicity Huffman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Maui’s own serial tourist Owen Wilson (on a side note, a source tells your Star Spotter that Owen could become a more permanent fixture, recently home-hunting on the coast in Kapalua). But headquartered again this year at the Grand Wailea, where one of the three al fresco theaters has been converted from a driving range, founder Barry River’s seven-year-old festival will welcome luminaries including actress Claire Danes. Other possible attendees: Jessica Alba and comedian Dane Cook for their film Good Luck Chuck, Christina Ricci for the fantasy fairy-tale Penelope (the film’s producer Reese Witherspoon makes a cameo in Penelope; Keep your eyes peeled in case Maui gets a Ms. Witherspoon cameo of its very own) and Morgan Freeman and The Office funnyman Steve Carell for Evan Almighty. Meanwhile, your Star Spotter predicts the Festival fave to be Waitress, having previewed the film at an N.Y.C. screening where its star and indie darling Keri Russell fielded questions about her character, a pregnant diner waitress and expert pie baker stuck in an abusive marriage. (Sadly, Keri’s attendance at the Festival is uncertain—her own bundle of joy with husband Shane Deary is due this summer—but your Star Spotter can assure you Ms. Russell was the picture of pregnant perfection at the screening in an extra-long navy and white-striped tee, straight-leg Sevens and ballet flats.) Discounted tickets to the Maui Film Festival are only available until June 10th so be sure to count yourself as one of the estimated 8,500 who will catch a glimpse of the stars on and off the screen.

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